The cor­rect driv­ing pos­ture

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

When you first get a car take the time to ad­just the seat and con­trols to suit your height and build. Cor­rect driv­ing pos­ture re­duces fa­tigue, im­proves your con­trol and al­lows the safety fea­tures of the ve­hi­cle to op­er­ate ef­fec­tively.

Seat­belts

For seat­belts to work ef­fec­tively they should be ad­justed ‘low, flat and firm’.

Low — placed be­low your hips to fully se­cure your body weight

Flat — no twists, turns or folds

Firm — about ev­ery 15 min­utes when you drive pull the belt firm to re­move any slack.

Airbags

Airbags are a sup­ple­men­tary re­strain­ing sys­tem (SRS) de­signed to be used in con­junc­tion with seat­belts.

To get the most ben­e­fit from the driver’s airbag the steer­ing wheel should be ad­justed low, fac­ing the driver’s chest rather than the face.

Brak­ing tech­nique

Cor­rect brak­ing is done in two stages, first put light pres­sure on the brake pedal and pause (set up the brakes), then pro­gres­sively ap­ply the nec­es­sary brak­ing pres­sure (squeeze).

Two-stage brak­ing (set up and squeeze) im­proves brak­ing ef­fec­tive­ness, re­duces the like­li­hood of skid­ding and pro­vides bet­ter con­trol.

Harsh or ex­ces­sive brak­ing pres­sure may cause skid­ding and a loss of con­trol, par­tic­u­larly on wet or gravel roads.

Steer­ing tech­nique

There are two main steer­ing tech­niques, ‘push/pull’ and ‘hand over hand’. Re­gard­less of which method is used some gen­eral rules ap­ply:

Steer­ing must be smooth and pro­gres­sive

Re­duce speed be­fore steer­ing and wait un­til the ve­hi­cle be­gins to straighten be­fore ac­cel­er­at­ing

When steer­ing keep both hands on the out­side of the steer­ing wheel and thumbs along the rim.

An­tilock brak­ing sys­tem (ABS)

An­tilock brak­ing sys­tems con­trol brak­ing force to pre­vent the tyres from skid­ding un­der heavy brak­ing or when brak­ing in slip­pery con­di­tions.

Some ABS sys­tems cause the brake pedal to pulse or shud­der when ac­ti­vated and al­though this may feel dis­con­cert­ing, brak­ing ef­fort must be main­tained if the sit­u­a­tion re­quires a quick stop.

Trac­tion con­trol sys­tems (TCS)

Trac­tion con­trol sys­tems stop the driv­ing wheels spin­ning by re­duc­ing en­gine power or tem­po­rar­ily ap­ply­ing the brakes.

This al­lows the car to ac­cel­er­ate smoothly, even on slip­pery sur­faces.

Elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol (ESC)

Elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol de­tects if a ve­hi­cle is not re­spond­ing cor­rectly to driver steer­ing in­put.

The sys­tem se­lec­tively ap­plies the brakes to in­di­vid­ual wheels or chang­ing en­gine power, ESC helps the driver to main­tain their in­tended di­rec­tion.

Emer­gency brake-as­sist (EBA)

Emer­gency brake as­sist de­tects an emer­gency brake ap­pli­ca­tion.

It pro­vides emer­gency brak­ing as­sis­tance and au­to­mat­i­cally in­creases the force be­ing ap­plied to the brakes to min­imise the stop­ping dis­tance. It is also known as “Brake As­sist Sys­tem” (BAS).

— ww.rms.nsw.gov.au

Good driv­ing pos­ture can curb road ac­ci­dents.

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